SPLIT – Yuto Nagatomo is back in Europe with Inter, with a goal and with his usual smile. His grin rose as he recalled his own words from a few days ago: "I said that I’d have to do a lot of running – that was my job and I did it. But I also managed to do what I hoped for, which was to score a goal. I’m happy and I want to keep going like this all season. This is the Europa League but you’re still up against quality opposition: they made us work hard for it but we dug deep. This is the way forward."
SPLIT – "I enjoy playing with these lads, but it wasn’t easy tonight. We don’t even have a month’s work behind us and we might have struggled against a team that’s in better shape than we are. But we went about things the right way, we showed the right mental approach." That was Javier Zanetti‘s assessment after the 3-0 win over Hajduk Split, which included a goal by Coutinho. Speaking to Inter Channel, the skipper added: "I’m pleased for him. We’re used to seeing him do things like that because we watch him in training every day. We’re happy that he scored such a good goal in an important match like this."
SPLIT – He capped off Inter’s win with the third goal but speaking to Inter Channel after the match Philippe Coutinho was keen to stress that "more important than my goal is the fact that the team played well. My first goal in Europe? Hopefully I can carry on this way and keep improving my game."
Coutinho returns from his time in Spain as a different player: "It was an important experience because I had a good run in the team and that’s really helpful for a young player. I’ve come back more aggressive, with the desire to be a success and show people how much I’ve improved."
The Brazilian was also asked to comment on the performances of his fellow countrymen at the Olympics: "I watch all the games, they’re doing tremendously well. They’re young and they can play the ball around. I’m rooting for them."